Resume Writing For High School Students

Your resume is an essential marketing resource. 

However, when you don’t have a lot of experience, this can be very challenging. 

Your accomplishments, your skills, and how you utilize your time all must be represented in a professionally written high school resume. And so do any relevant experiences or projects. 

Not sure where to start?

Don’t worry. In this article, we’ll help you learn what’s important to consider when writing a high school resume without any or minimal work experience.

Formatting High School Resume With Limited Experience 

There are many different ways to format the information on your resume, so it’s important to choose a resume style that highlights your experience best.

Your resume must be structured in such a way that it is easy to follow and read. You will also need to include contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses on your resume. 

Please note that it is no longer common to include a list of professional references who can vouch for your work experience on your resume. You may want to have this list prepared in a separate document in case you need it in the future. However, you don’t want to provide this information unless specifically requested. 

Start With Your Resume Layout

The first step in writing a resume is to decide on your resume layout and style. One of the most popular resume formats and the one we will discuss today is the reverse chronological format. 

This format is often preferred by hiring managers and is used by the vast majority of candidates because it’s easy to follow and read. 

To format your reverse chronological order resume, you must include some of the following sections:

1. Resume Header 

The header is where you put your name and contact details for hiring managers to get in touch with you.  Keep it simple, and be sure to double-check you have all of this information correct. 

Include the following in your list of contact information:

  • First & Last Name (or Preferred Name)
  • Contact Number
  • Email
  • Profile or Portfolio Link

2. Resume Summary

A resume summary is a brief statement included at the top of your resume in which you outline your career summary and goals. Keep the summary brief at no more than three or four sentences.  

Your summary statement has to be adjusted, as needed, for each potential employer or purpose. You want to make sure that you’re including specific keywords or phrases that best align with the position or opportunity. 

3.  Skills Section

In the absence of relevant work experience, you can focus on highlighting two sorts of skills:

Hard skills and soft skills.

What’s the difference between hard and soft skills?

Soft skills refer to intangible qualities and routines that contribute to one’s overall effectiveness in one’s profession. They are generalizable and can aid you in many different jobs. Examples of soft skills include “Time Management”, “Resource Management”, and “Communication”.

In contrast, hard skills relate to those that are more directly applicable to the job at hand, such as equipment, education, and training. They may include skills such as “Java Development”, “Risk Analysis”, “Automation”, and “Database Administration”.

In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to develop skills that will allow you to do just that.

4. Education Section

The fourth section of a resume is often dedicated to listing relevant work experience.

However, because you likely don’t have any, you should emphasize your education first. 

By emphasizing your academic credentials in this way, you highlight one of your strongest selling advantages.

What should the education section of your resume include?

  • High School Name
  • City, ST (Optional)
  • Graduation Date (or Anticipated Graduation Date)
  • GPA (Optional)
  • Honors or Designations (Optional)
  • Relevant Courses (Optional)

If you completed any college courses during high school, please list them as well in a similar format as described above. 

5. Work Experience

Make sure to highlight any relevant work history you may have, such as a summer job or a position you held while still in school.

Employers want to see that you have some experience that relates to the position or is transferable to some extent. Furthermore, job applications and scholarship boards want to learn more about you and the activities you participate in

If you don’t have a lot of employment experience but have done things like dog walking, garden keeping, or babysitting, put them down on the list. Having any employment history at all demonstrates initiative and accountability.


Additional Sections

Having covered many of the core sections, the next few sections of your resume should be dedicated to filling in the gaps in your job experience.


Have you completed any internship work that is directly related to the position you’re applying for?

If so, It’s appropriate to add this experience to your resume. 

Follow these steps to include your internship on your resume:

  • To begin, create the label “Internships”. Some people place their internships under a “Professional Experience” label, so choose whichever label works best for you. 
  • Second, you should provide your job title, the name of the company, the internship location (City, ST), and the internship’s duration using months and years. 
  • Finally, be sure to also provide a bulleted list of the duties you were responsible for during your internship. If you can point to specific accomplishments as well and use metrics, this will further strengthen your resume. As needed, be sure to modify your list of duties and successes so that it fits the position for which you are seeking.
  • Complete these steps for each of your internships. 
Extracurricular Activities

Do you still have a lot of white space on your resume?

Whether you’re applying for a job, a college or a scholarship, including your extracurricular activities on your resume is generally a good idea. 

It doesn’t matter if they are directly relevant to the position you’re seeking or not; they still demonstrate one thing:

You have a lot of drive and work diligently.

Participating in extracurricular activities is a great way to showcase your interests, as well as your ability to make a positive impact, stick to a commitment, and balance many tasks.

As you gain more experience throughout your career, you may include less of this type of experience in your resume. Eventually, this section can be eliminated entirely. 

Volunteer Experience

Consider including volunteer and community service experience in your high school resume. 

Volunteering provides you the opportunity to learn new skills and even if you’re too young to work, you can build a strong portfolio and gather connections by volunteering. 

High school students often need to put in hours of community service to earn their diplomas as a requirement for some extracurricular organizations. Use your time spent volunteering, or any other unpaid work, to strengthen your skills and resultantly, your resume. 

You can highlight in your resume a wide variety of experiences such as whether you volunteer at a food pantry during your leisure time or if you helped manage your parent’s small business files.

For each of these experiences, feel free to include relevant information such as: 

  • Job Title
  • Company/Organization Name
  • Location
  • Duration (Start/End Dates) 
  • Meaningful accomplishments and responsibilities (Listed as bullet points)

Describe any personal, internship or school-related tasks and projects you worked on that haven’t previously been discussed in other sections of your resume. 

You may also talk about any other kind of work you’ve done, such as research projects, published articles, or related work.

When completing this section, use the same format as the Internship section. Be sure to include very detailed information in your bullets that clarifies the impact of the project and your specific role in developing those results. 


Extra Sections For A Resume With No Work History


Do you speak any other languages besides English? If so, you should definitely include these languages.

The majority of today’s businesses are global enterprises that value employees with linguistic versatility. In other words, being able to speak multiple languages is desirable. However, you must be careful and ensure you’re not exaggerating your competence.

Interests and Hobbies: 

Your interests and hobbies may give your resume a unique spin by demonstrating your commitment to and enthusiasm for the field. Be sure to keep these very professional and related to the position you’re applying for.

Professional Affiliations:

Typically, if you have three or more memberships to indicate, you would probably benefit from a professional affiliations section in your resume. If you just have one or two professional affiliations, or if they aren’t directly relevant to the position you’re applying for, it’s best to list them in another area of your resume or mention them in your cover letter. 

A resume’s professional affiliations section is where you may list things like organizations and memberships. The purpose of this section is to highlight relevant experience and affiliations that set you apart as a strong candidate for the advertised position. Therefore, non-paid leadership positions can also be included.

Honors & Awards:

Put all your relevant accomplishments on your resume. Don’t be hesitant about listing your leadership responsibilities and the medals, accolades, and awards that you’ve won. High school resumes might include things like honor roll, attendance honors, and athletic accomplishments.

Whatever the situation may be, including your honors and awards in their relevant sections will demonstrate your successes and achievements. 


Write a Cover Letter that Complements Your Resume

Pro Tip: You should also prepare a cover letter to submit alongside your resume application.

Why? Because sometimes it’s these small differences that help you stand out.

A cover letter should introduce you, detail the position you’re looking for, and justify your interest in it. Your cover letter should provide a quick summary of your experience and highlight your most relevant skill sets. Furthermore, this letter should explain how you are the best fit for the position you’re applying for.


Students in need of recommendations, internships, jobs, scholarships, or admission to college can all benefit from having a strong high school resume on file. A resume is an advertisement for who you are as a person, not merely a list of your professional abilities and experience.

You may open up more doors for yourself if you take the time to write a stellar resume and pay close attention to detail in doing so. Don’t wait until the last minute to get started.

In need of assistance developing your resume? Contact us